Living Locums Series Part 2: The Not-So-Fun Stuff: Paperwork, Licensing, and Credentialing
While it’s fun to dream about the places you may live and work as a locum tenens physician, it’s also important to remember that because of the many regulations surrounding healthcare provision, you will have to deal with practicalities like licensing, credentialing, and ordinary Human Resources paperwork. In our second installment of Living Locums (if you haven’t already, check out part one on picking a locums position here), we’ll tell you what to expect and how you can make this process as fast and as easy as possible.
Talking to a Recruiter
All Medical Locum Tenens electronic application is without a doubt the shortest in the entire industry (only 7 pages compared to 20+ for other companies), so the process is not only fast and easy but also painless. Once you’ve found a job you’re interested in, your recruiter will guide you through all of the steps necessary to apply to that job. The All Medical application is done via Docusign, and unlike other Locums companies, we will pre-fill the application for you. Usually, all you will have to do is click through and sign your name.
If the client is interested in hiring you, the next step is typically a phone interview. Assuming you and the client think it’s a good placement, you will then have to satisfy their credentialing and scheduling requirements.
Paperwork to Have Ready
Gathering as much relevant paperwork as possible before signing with a locums agency is advisable. Some state licensing procedures can take weeks or months, and getting an early start can mean the difference between your ideal placement and one that’s just satisfactory. Whatever facility you take a position with, you will have to complete credentialing applications. Therefore, it’s smart to have the following documents on hand:
• An up-to-date CV in Month/year format with no gaps
• Copies of your licenses, DEA registration, CSR, and previously held licenses
• Copies of your undergraduate degree, medical degree, as well as evidence of post-graduate training like your internship and residency
• Your Educational Commission Foreign Medical Graduate (ECFMG), if applicable
• Proof of board certifications or plans to take boards
• Your most recent TB test results
• A copy of your driver’s license or passport
• The previous two years’ worth of Continuing Medical Education (CME) proof
• Explanations for any background issues like malpractice claims, or other items on your record that may attract added attention
• Evidence of other certifications, such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
Your Rates, Travel, and Lodging Costs
Generally, locum tenens providers are paid by the day, but All Medical pays by the hour, meaning you will have much more flexibility to work half days or even quarter days depending on your availability. You may receive additional pay for weekend or weeknight call and holidays, but every position’s structure varies, so be sure to ask your recruiter. Locum tenens physicians are paid as independent contractors, so taxes aren’t withheld from your checks. You will receive 1099 forms from your locum tenens agency each year reflecting how much you were paid, and this amount must be reported for tax purposes. Some locum tenens physicians set up an account to set aside a percentage of earnings over the year to avoid having to pay a huge amount to the IRS on April 15.
Most locum tenens placements do include compensation for travel, and your agency should have the resources you need to find the lodging you need while serving your placement. Ideally, your agency will have relationships with hotel chains and other lodging providers and help you locate the best “home base” during your assignment.
Interviewing with the Company
Your interview with a client hospital or facility is also an opportunity for you to ask questions. While facilities in some geographic locations may be hard to turn down, it’s equally important that you know why the facility is hiring locums physicians. Your experience will depend at least in part on whether you’re filling in for someone on maternity leave, helping a hospital through a growth phase, or working someplace that can’t retain permanent physicians due to a toxic work environment.
Locum tenens placements are two-way streets and excellent communication is vital. All Medical Locum Tenens has the shortest application in the industry, and it can all be done online. We know that you don’t have time for red tape and unnecessary administrative tasks, so we do what we can to remove those roadblocks, making the locum tenens process straightforward and logical. All Medical Locum Tenens would like to invite you to apply with us and start your journey toward an exciting, fulfilling locum tenens career.